Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community

Tears in father’s eyes – Jerry Nakata (OH0005)


Jerry Nakata: I can remember walking up to, walking to the ferry, going up the stairs, I can remember that.

Interviewer: The stairs on the ferry?

Jerry Nakata: I can remember getting on the ferry, and getting off at Coleman dock, and then there was a Pullman train. We got on the Pullman train, and there was a couple of underclassmen, as we departed, running alongside the train. That, that kid was Rich Barr, and he fought in the Pacific. And he came back and he says us guys are, “different than the guys I fought against.” That’s the kind of people we had on Bainbridge. Another story I forgot to tell you as we, departing, there was a couple of underclassmen kids that rode across Eagle Harbor to see us off, and for their actions they darned near got expelled.

Interviewer: How about your close friends like Reese Moran or Earl Hanson or Hal Champness? Did they come to see you off?

Jerry Nakata: Earl did. He was there at the landing, but we couldn’t shake hands because there was a barrier there. And Hal Champness was working at the shipyard that day, the superintendent wouldn’t let him, wouldn’t let him leave to see us off.

Video Interview — February, 2006
To see this interview in its entirety, go to the Densho website archives. You will have to register to be allowed access to their archives. Once in the archive, visit the Visual History Collections: Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community Collection.

Jerry Nakata

Jerry Nakata was 19 years old when he was evacuated. He was the second youngest of six children. As a young child, Jerry's parents both owned a barbershop in Winslow and farmed strawberries. In the late 1930s his older brother John started a small grocery business. Before the war Jerry was working for his brother. Jerry graduated from Bainbridge High School in 1941. Following the war, the Nakata family returned to Bainbridge Island and re–built their grocery business in partnership with Ed Loverich.